Insight Feature - By Ben Marley
Recently some people in the industry have said to me that customer service is not relevant anymore, today apparently it’s all about the customer experience or ‘CX’ as it’s often termed – sounds much sexier doesn’t it?
However I would argue that customer service and customer experience are NOT the same thing. Customer experience is all about improving the customer journey. More often than not this is achieved by improving the online & digital experience through great tech, good examples of this would be Uber or Hotels.com. Both services provide a great customer experience but service is nowhere to be seen. There’s also some great proptech solutions out there, good proptech enhances your customer journey but more importantly it frees up time for your team to focus on the actual service they are delivering. Yes the customer experience is important but the service your team deliver is what sets you apart from the competition.
This has never been more important in the property sector which is very different from most. We work in what is essentially a conflict industry where there are always two opposing parties - a seller and a buyer or a landlord and a tenant. Inevitably in these situations there will always be issues and problems to resolve and they can only be solved by delivering great customer service.
So what do I mean by delivering great customer service. Well I literally mean treating your customers like you'd treat your own family or your close friends (I’m assuming here you get on with your family and that you’ve got friends!) because what do we do for family and friends that we don’t do for others? That's right, we go out of our way for them and that’s what giving great service is all about because when you go out of your way for someone you start a relationship and once you have established a relationship with someone you begin to build TRUST. If you establish the trust factor then you should have that customer for life.
You have to WANT to give great service, it’s either in your DNA or not, it’s connected to the type of people we are, the way we treat our customers is indicative of the way we look at life in general. I believe there is a real opportunity right now for agents who truly deliver exceptional service levels to rise above the sea of mediocrity customers expect from agencies. It’s a challenge for sure, as there is a constant struggle to balance service levels with delivering profit but I firmly believe that the agencies who don’t give in to putting profits above service will enhance their reputation and win the battle on the high street in 2021.
ESTAS Key date update
Midnight on 28th Feb is when the window closes for reviews for the 2021 awards. As long as you have a minimum of reviews in your category your firm will be eligible for the ESTAS Shortlist for 2021. To check the minimum number of reviews required click here